Summer is just around the corner, and with that comes warmer weather. Regardless of where you live, one of the best ways to truly enjoy your outdoor space during the warmer months of the year is with a stylish and comfortable patio set, most importantly, an outdoor sofa.
Whether you’re planning on hosting a big family get-together, a barbeque with your friends and family, or even just relaxing by yourself on a cool summer night. Having an outdoor sofa is one of the greatest luxuries one can have to truly enjoy their exterior space.
However, with so many gorgeous options on the market sure to make your head spin, it can be nearly impossible to know where to begin. Luckily, we’ve compiled the following information to help you make an informed decision, as well as a few suggestions to help get you started.
What to Consider When Buying an Outdoor Sofa
Is It Comfortable?
Comfort is by far and away one of (if not the) most important things to consider when you’re in the market for any piece of outdoor furniture, but especially outdoor sofas. This is because not only will you be using it almost extensively for months of the year, but there is a lot that can affect the overall comfortability of an outdoor sofa. Such as design, materials, and quality.
While it might seem obvious to consider comfort when shopping for an outdoor sofa, you’d be surprised how many people simply opt for something that is either within their budget. Or just ‘looks nice’ and fits into their space. Even though these are all important considerations, none of it really matters if the item is not going to be comfortable enough for you to sit back and relax in.
One important factor to consider that often gets left behind is the depth of the seating. Much of this will come down to how you like to sit, meaning that if you like to sit upright, then you will probably want something that offers more support for your thighs. This way you can keep your knees bent at an appropriate angle and still allow your feet to comfortably touch the ground.
If you would prefer something to lounge your entire body in, then you will obviously want something that offers deeper seating, perhaps even a sectional design instead.
For the average individual, you will want something with depth between 21” and 23”, but if you’re at an above-average height then you would look for something with 23” to 26” of seat depth. Then if you’re somebody that likes to spread out and lounge, then you might want something that offers even a few more inches than that.
Another important aspect that goes into the general comfort of an outdoor sofa is the materials used to manufacture both the frame and the cushions. You can obviously throw in extra cushions to make it cozier but you will want to ensure that the materials used for the cushions are made from a soft yet durable material.
As well as built with either memory foam or another dense material on the inside. Many outdoor sofas are built with weatherproof capabilities, but not all will feature comfortable materials that optimally cater to the individual.
As for the frame, whether it’s steel, aluminum, rattan wicker, or another material won’t matter too much if you’re planning on buying or laying cushions down over top anyway. Although, the style of the sofa and frame can certainly play a role in how comfortable it is going to be.
You first need to look for something that is ergonomic by design, meaning that it will optimally either conform or suit the body, making it more comfortable over time. But past that, you should also consider the style you would most enjoy (daybed, loveseat, sectional, etc.).
Overall Size/ Will it Fit in Your Space?
Another very important factor to consider is the overall size of the sofa and whether or not it is going to fit into your space properly. Let’s be honest, we’ve all placed an order online for something ‘we think’ is going to look exactly like it does in the picture, only to receive something that doesn’t fit or look up to par.
While this is oftentimes out of your hands, you should always double (and even triple) check the space that you’re trying to fill as well as the item that you’re looking to buy.
This is another one that might seem obvious, but you would again be shocked by how many people neglect to take the time to properly measure their space when they’re buying furniture. Or just forget to look at the fine print when they’re buying something online.
The first step is measuring the space that you’re hoping to fill with the item, then you will want to check the measurement specs on the listing for the item that you’re looking to buy.
Take a note of the width, length, height, and depth of the item (as well as the space), and ensure that it’s all in the proper measurements (centimeters, inches, feet, etc.). So long as you are diligent in the process and don’t skip over any measurements, then you should be just fine.
Lastly, you will need to account for the weatherproof capabilities of the sofa. While comfort and overall size are certainly extremely important, so are the weatherproof capabilities of the sofa you’re looking to buy. Especially since this is going to be used primarily (if not solely) outdoors.
Before you decide on anything, one of the first things you should consider is where exactly you live. For example, if you live in a windy climate, then you might not want to go with an outdoor sofa that is made out of aluminum because it will be so lightweight that it could easily just fly away.
Although, if you live in a hot or dry climate, then this could make certain woods splinter or crack, while locations that experience more moisture will make these items rot and deteriorate.
Sturdy metal (like steel) is one of the more popular choices for outdoor furniture because it is heavier than aluminum but more durable than natural wood. Since it is largely unaffected by UV rays, and immense levels of heat or moisture. Although, this is not always the case as there are some durable hardwoods that are extremely durable, resistant to the elements and don’t fade over time (teak, acacia, cedar, etc.).
Regardless, you will need to keep an eye on the weather conditions in the area you live in and match the materials of your outdoor furniture accordingly. Simply put, outdoor furniture of any kind should be able to tolerate the worst conditions that are most likely to pop up in your area.
10 Most Comfortable Outdoor Sofas
The best and most comfortable outdoor sofa on the market right now is the Modway Aura Outdoor Patio Wicker Rattan Sofa. This modern yet sophisticated design features a powder-coated aluminum frame with a wide, deep body and a gray-on-gray synthetic rattan weave that is entirely UV protected.
Moreover, the gorgeous upholstery is not only plush and durable with over 6” of thickness, but it’s also fade and water-resistant with all-weather capability. Plus, the entire sofa is reinforced with chrome-plated anti-slip pads underneath each foot, and all of the cushions are completely removable and machine-washable.
2. Crested Bay Outdoor Gray Aluminum Sofa
Another fantastic option is the Crested Bay Outdoor Gray Aluminum Sofa. It’s a sturdy and stylish three-seater that features a durable aluminum frame with water-resistant cushions. Plus, thanks to its aluminum frame, the entire sofa is surprisingly easy to move around and relocate if necessary.
It also features a neutral color scheme with a gray finish along the exterior of the frame complemented with dark grey cushions. Moreover, it’s also been noted to be extremely comfortable, well-reviewed and easy to construct.
Next up is the Signature Design by Ashley Beachcroft Outdoor Wicker Patio Sofa. This gorgeous outdoor sofa is constructed out of all-weather, handwoven resin wicker built over top of a powder-coated rust-proof aluminum frame.
Plus, thanks to the sofa’s plush cushions and neutral beige aesthetic, this sofa can be comfortably used inside or outside, showcasing its immense versatility. The cushions are also thick, removable, durable and easy to clean thanks to their Nuvella fabric makeup. While the frame of the sofa features sloped arms and a high back for additional support and comfort.
The Cambridge Casual Solid Wood West Lake Outdoor Convertible Sofa Daybed is another remarkable solution. This unique outdoor sofa comes in five vibrant colors that can match up with just about any outdoor décor, and is made entirely out of a solid mahogany wood that is rustic and durable.
In fact, the frame has been carefully brushed with steel wire to create an authentic rustic and weathered appearance, While the entire sofa has been coated in a weather-resistant and classy polyurethane finish.
Plus, the cushions are thick and comfortable due to their weather-resistant polyester fabric, fiber and foam makeup. However, the best part about this item is that the arms on each end can be raised or lowered to transform the sofa into a loveseat, daybed, or chaise lounge. Showcasing one of the best all-around outdoor sofas available.
5. Wyatt Outdoor Sofa
Next is the Wyatt Outdoor Sofa, which is the ideal pick for those in search of a more luxurious outdoor sofa. First and foremost, this durable sofa features deep and comfortable seating with dense foam padding that is not only resilient but also incredibly comfy thanks to its high elasticity.
Moreover, the unique all-weather resin wicker is specially designed to be both durable and fashionable, while the entire sofa is constructed overtop of a sturdy rustproof aluminum frame. Also, the zippered cushions are extra padded with antimicrobial foam and covered in weather-resistant Sunbrella or Inside Out performance fabric.
6. Brava Outdoor Modular Acacia Wood Sofa
Another sensational pick is the Brava Outdoor Modular Acacia Wood Sofa. This beautifully constructed design perfectly blends the classic rustic exterior with a comfortable and modern padded seating space. The frame itself features cross-back acacia wood while the cushioning is built with weather-resistant 100% polyester fabric.
The sofa also breaks apart into three different pieces that smoothly blend together; two single-armed components (one left and one right), as well as a single armless middle piece.
Moreover, the set is completely customizable, as you can seamlessly move around any of the three pieces to construct whatever formation you most enjoy or best suits your current exterior space. Making it ideal for any outdoor space big or small.
Next up we have the Signature Design by Ashley Grasson Lane Outdoor Patio Wicker Sofa. This stylish design is crafted specifically to withstand the elements and last for years to come thanks to its resin wicker base and rustproof aluminum frame. While the cushions provided are tremendously resilient and dense to provide optimal support and comfort.
Each cushion also comes with a zipper, making it entirely removable, and is made from fade-resistant Nuvella fabric. Along with two matching throw pillows included in your purchase. This also stands to be one of the easier outdoor sofas to assemble, as well as one with some of the best reviews on the market.
Sliding into our eighth spot on the list is the Christopher Knight Home Breenda Outdoor Acacia Wood Sofa. This simplistic yet contemporary design is made from sleek and durable acacia wood, which is a sturdy hardwood that naturally withstands the elements and will not darken over time.
Furthermore, the cushions provided may not be as thick as other models, but they’re still exceptionally comfortable thanks to their durable foam makeup, and they also feature water-resistant capabilities. This model is also backed with a reliable three-year warranty and offers tons of support thanks to its incredibly high back.
Another exceptional option is the 3-Seat Patio PE Rattan Wicker Couch. Made from all-weather PE wicker and with an anti-rust steel frame, the overall sturdiness and durability of this sofa is not to be questioned.
Plus, the cushions are made from breathable 250G polyester material that is water repellent, stain-resistant and UV-protected. Each of which is also 4” thick, and offers high resiliency thanks to its sponge and PP cotton filling. Which is extraordinarily comfortable and long-lasting.
Moreover, the sofa also comes with adjustable feet, a furniture cover that is waterproof, and dust-resistant, as well as two free lumbar pillows. It even comes available in four vibrant colors; red, blue, royal blue, and turquoise.
Last but certainly not least there’s the Amazon Brand – Ravenna Home Archer Steel-Framed Outdoor Sofa. While perhaps one of the simpler designs, it remains one of the most reliable and comfortable options on the market. The frame of the sofa is made from powder-coated rust and weather-resistant steel, while the cushions are very thick, and constructed out of water-resistant polyester.
It also features curved armrests, as well as the option to include a back-and-forth gliding motion to provide optimal comfort. Due to its simplicity and removable cushions, it’s also one of the easier sofas to maintain and care for throughout the course of the year.
Outdoor Sofas FAQs
Should You Cover Your Outdoor Sofa when Not in Use?
One of the most common questions received when it comes down to outdoor sofas is whether or not you should be covering them whenever they’re not in use. It’s no secret that outdoor sofas need to be covered or well protected during the off-season, specifically in the winter if you’re expecting a lot of extreme temperatures (like snow, rain, moisture, etc.). So as not to allow any moisture inside that could damage the materials of the sofa.
However, it’s not even a bad idea to keep your furniture covered when it’s not in use during the summer. This way you can maximize its projected lifespan and ensure that no unexpected damage occurs in the process. Some of the best options in terms of outdoor furniture covers can be found in our furniture cover guide here.
Determining how long any piece of furniture is going to last will depend on how well you maintain it as well as how much use it endures over the course of its lifespan. The average sofa is designed to last anywhere from ten to fifteen years, however, outdoor sofas are going to take on a lot more than your average indoor sofa. Such as rust, corrosion, and general damage.
That being said, so long as you keep it in optimal condition by cleaning it regularly and moving it inside or covering it during the colder months of the year, outdoor sofas should also last just as long.
Can You Build Your Own Outdoor Sofa?
Despite there being thousands of different styles of outdoor sofa, all of which are designed to fit into different budgets. Outdoor sofas (in general) are still rather pricy, especially when you can simply just build your own. Obviously, this will require time, money, and a lot of effort to ensure that it is not only safe and durable but also able to last for just as long as the one you would buy online or in the store.
Nevertheless, it is possible and sometimes a better option if you have serious space constrictions or are on a smaller budget.
All in all, you don’t have to look far to see how much thought and consideration is going to come into your purchase. From deciding on the material that best suits your location and style, to choosing the right design or colour that will match your existing furniture or space. There’s certainly a lot to think about if you’re in the market for an outdoor sofa.
Although, hopefully after reading today’s guide you have a better idea of not only the market but what you should be thinking about as you head off on your journey to buying an outdoor sofa.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.